Review: Thai First Class on the way BKK – FRA in B 777-300 ER
(deutscher Beitrag) After i went to Bangkok (BKK) with Finnair’s new business class 3 days ago, today I go back to Frankfurt already and wont take Finnair via Helsinki tomorrow. Therefore I’ll travel with Thai Airways in the suites oft first class today.
Arrival and Check-in:
Different than on the way to it, which took more than one hour until we made it tot he Mandarin Oriental, I arrive at the airport within 25 minutes. As soon as the driver stops in front of the first and business class entry, a friendly helper takes the luggage and my hand bag and even my jacket.
A few meters away, left of the entry, was the first class Check-in, with comfortable arm chairs, cooled water and cold tissues waiting for us. Besides handing out my passport everything else went automatically. With a smile we got our boarding pass back, just realizing the Miles& More number is missing, so she went back and corrected it. In the end the thought it would have been more effort fort to correct it, even though i dont think so.
The friendly sir from the entrance took my luggage and jacket and took me to security control, where you find nobody except for staff. Therefore security control was a question of minutes. I was even asked if they could put my Macbook and iPad back but I was just able to do it myself.
The Thai Royal Silk First Class Lounge:
It then went on 10 meters with the escalator down one level, where you also find the entrance tot he Tahi business class lounge. As I wanted to visit the first class lounge behind and it would have been a few meters to walk, a sir directly came with a „car“ and took me to the entrance oft the lounge. After the question for a SPA treatment was answered and we made an appointment, I was taken to the lounge. It has different relaxation areas. There are many arm chairs and seating areas, but also 5 booths, which are separated by half-open walls and provide arm chairs, desk with an own mac and TV.
In the back area of the lounge you find an exclusive “restaurant corner” with a little more than 22 seats. Considering it was just shortly after 10 A.M. I decided for the front area of the lounge.
The news and magazine offer is extensive and provides besides Asian issues also English and German ones. Of course a business center with computer and printer is not missing, also bathrooms with shower possibilities.
After “establishing” myself a little, I ordered a coke and espresso and right after that breakfast. The choice of food comes with Asian and American cuisine. You don’t get a physical menu but an iPad. Dishes are completely described and displayed with pictures, which makes the order process pretty simple.
the SPA is located about 30 meters outside the lounge, where I was taken to when the time for my treatment came. Also here: being welcomed by name and receiving cold refreshing tissues and a delicious ginger tea. The treatment lasted around 20 minutes and consisted of shoulder and neck massage. Alternatively there are also other massages and treatments. Even after the treatment I got a tea and little Thai snacks before I went back to the lounge.
If you want to shop, you find an extensive offer in the local duty free shops. I decline thankfully, as usual. I don’t know how you think about it, but when I’m on tour I bring something for others, but I don’t need anything for myself.
Boarding and Cabin:
As boarding began at 12:35 a Madame accompanied me from the lounge to Gate C3 and drove me with the “First Class Car” to the gate. We went down the stairs and into the machine, where I was welcomed by name and accompanied to Suite 2A. The “small” first class cabin in the 777 comes with a 1-2-1 seating in two rows, so 8 passengers can sit here. The middle seats are suitable for passengers that travel together, because with the closed doors you can stand the time quite well.
The suits at the sides are better for lone travellers and provide a beautiful view with three windows. In the 777 Thai provides separation doors as for example Emirates in many other machines. There are different opinions on that. Some of my traveller friends or colleagues prefer the open configuration, as it is used in the FirstClass by Swiss or Lufthansa. As a reason it’s often proposed that service is suffering under closed cabins and one is a little isolated. Especially for long flights (today 11,5 hours) I find this quite convenient. You can leave the door open while eating, and close it when you want to sleep or watch TV.
Suite and seat:
Even thought the machine is a little older, seats and cabin are in good shape and convey a good impression. The typical Thai red provides a comfortable and livable feeling, which is supported by the dark wooden-style doors. The seat is conceived in a way that two people can use it. The ottoman can then be used as second seat, since it’s equipped with another seatbelt. A wardrobe in the door area is quite convenient and provides you the option to store your jacket and shirt and have them ready at any time.
Besides the international socket in the back shelf you also find two USB slots, with which you can charge smartphones or other devices. The seat can be adjusted via Touch Panel or four configured buttons.
They provide one fixed position for take off, dinner, watching TV or sleeping. The touch screen provides more options and a massage function.
Here you can define the different parts of the seat and adjust them just as you wish, or use the memory function. This makes it easy to switch to the previous position after sleeping e.g. In the side part of the seat you find several shelves. There is place for magazines, stuff or whatever you brought on the travel. You also find the amenity kit there on arrival, but more to that later.
Talking about sleep: after the first dish and service I transformed my seat into a bed, because you should find some sleep during 11 hours of flight. Therefore you get a thick constraint, two pillows and a blanket, which makes it a good replacement for the bed at home. Even I, who prefers to sleep on the stomach, have more than sufficient space. Even for bigger travellers this provides the possibility to stretch over two meters.
All together the seat has deserved to make a good score, even though it’s not the newest and the new seat in the A380 is going to be exciting. It will first be used on the Frankfurt track. You’ll read more about that later, this wont be the last time I go to BKK.
Already when entering the plane, several German daily newspapers and magazines were waiting for me, of which many were available also in English.
The screen is more than sufficiently big, which gives you the chance to relax watching a movie of just watch the flight track. Surprisingly many movies were available in English, Asian languages or Germany and so I had enough to watch to pass time.
The control with the remote control in the back shelves was a little sluggish but fulfilled its purpose and is not comparable to new touch screens. If you’re a total “movie junkie” you might be a little disappointed, because the movie offer is a little thin compared to other airlines. For me personally it was extensive enough.
Amenities in the first:
Different than in business class (except for Qantas) in first class you get pajamas and slippers besides the amenity kit. Even though I always bring my own pajamas from Swiss, the one from Thai is indeed nicely kept in decent grey and comfortable.
The kit itself is currently coming from Thumi and kept in black. Besides typical containments like eye mask, tooth brush and ear plugs it also comes with other things: cream, Eu de Cologne, lip balm and mouth and face spray. Even though the kits are often left in the plane, this is not only nice but also convenient, since it can be used again later, as bath bag or storage for the crayons of my children.
Because of the long flight we had two services with multi-course dinners, which were a mix of Thai and international food, so it also makes European gums happy. It started with chicken with Pandan leaves and Asian dip. Directly afterwards we got sturgeon caviar with classic side dishes and if you like: compatible vodka.
The next entrée were salmon and crabmeat rolls with salmon caviar or hot, Thai crab salad. My decision fell on the first one, but didn’t really meet my taste, which it didn’t matter. As main course there were four options, while you had the chance to pre-order some menus before the flight. Since the very spontaneous booking I was totally satisfied with the offered dishes. So I took the filet steak curry with rice and fried Chinese sausage. I never tried that before but was surprised how well it tastes.
The curry was absolutely great. I even thought about taking it another time at the second service. For German gums they also had chicken breast with mashed potatoes or swine cordon bleu with parsley fried potatoes.
An extensive choice of bread, butter with Thai imprint and pepper from the big mill is self-evident. The first service ended with a choice of fruits and cheese and an Espresso. This fed me up quite well and so I went on to sleep.
Well rested and having hunger again it continued with the second service. If you’re hungry in-between you can a Caesar salad, sandwiches, Focaccia, Panini or Dim Sum at any time, or eat some cookies, chocolate or potato chips. But let’s get to my second choice of dishes. For diner it started with marinated shrimps, followed by chicken curry soup. As main course I took fried duck breast with Thai Him Mali rice and Kailan with garlic.
It was really delicious and I had to get some Petit Fours and an Espresso in the end. Unfortunately I had only 11,5 hours ☺.
The wine selection can be seen on the picture, since I don’t drink any of that and cannot judge how they taste. As Champaign they had Don Perignon Vintage 2003 and the choice of spirits was also quite extensive. Additionally there is an extensive selection of coffee and tea specialties of course, plus a couple of juices and soft drinks.
If your prefer beer you can choose between Heineken or Chang respectively Singha beer. On tracks to Germany they also have “Schloss Vollrads Riesling” from 2009 on board, whether for Germans who “love their wine” or want to already enjoy it on the flight.
From entering the plane, actually already from Check-in till the arrival in FRA the service was very good to extraordinary. During the meals I was always watched carefully, glasses were refilled, beds made and support offered without a question. The four stewardesses seemed well-organized and have been very attentive, friendly and courteous.
Positively striking was the “Arrival Service” in Frankfurt. First class guests were welcomed with a sign and taken threw passport control. Even though this hadn’t been necessary, since there not a lot of people, this is a nice thing to do because it saves a lot of time.
Finally a totally topped off product, good service and delicious food.
TG 922, Royal First Class
102.000 THB, ca. 2.600 EUR